Chesapeake Climate Action Network: Kirsten Collings, Deputy Director
Kirsten Collings directs CCAN’s campaigns throughout Maryland, D.C. and Virginia. With expertise in campaign planning and management, she helps keep the CCAN team focused on winning our urgent campaigns and growing our movement to be even more powerful. Kirsten joined CCAN after serving as the assistant organizing director with Green Corps, the Field School for Environmental Organizing. During her time with Green Corps, Kirsten trained dozens of recent college graduates how to be effective grassroots organizers and managed 15 legislative and corporate grassroots campaigns, fighting for better clean energy and climate change legislation, protection of our water resources, preservation of critical wilderness areas around the country and numerous other issues. Prior to her time on Green Corps’ central staff, she served as the citizen outreach director for the Fund for the Public Interest in Chapel Hill, NC, where she managed a team of canvassers to raise record-breaking funds and membership for state and national progressive organizations. Kirsten got her start as a trainee in Green Corps’ year-long field school after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in natural resources from North Carolina State University.
Interfaith Power and Light: Joelle Novey, Director
Joelle Novey directs Interfaith Power & Light (MD.DC.NoVA), which engages hundreds of congregations of all faith traditions across Maryland and the DC area in saving energy, going green, and responding to climate change. Interfaith Power & Light (MD.DC.NoVA) has played a key role in amplifying religious voices in support of climate action and clean energy policy in Maryland, most recently in the passage of offshore wind legislation, and IPL engages the state’s religious environmental movement in the work of the Maryland Climate Coalition. Joelle speaks widely with religious groups about responding to climate change as a moral and spiritual issue.
Maryland League of Women Voters: Nancy Soreng, Coalition Liaison
Nancy Soreng is the co-president and the immediate past president of the League of Women Voters of Maryland. She was an active participant in the Maryland Off-Shore Wind Coalition. She continues to serve as a member of the LWVMD Advocacy Team. Mrs. Soreng is the Vice-President of Purple Line, NOW an advocacy group that promotes the construction of a light rail system that will connect the 5 spokes of METRO in Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties. She also serves on the Policy Council of the Maryland Association of Non-Profit organizations. Prior to serving as president of the state-wide League of Women Voters, she was the president of the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County. Previously, she chaired the Montgomery County Charter Review Commission and was president of the Ithaca City School District Board of Education in upstate New York.
Maryland League of Conservation Voters: Karla Raettig, Director
Karla Raettig is the Executive Director of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters and Maryland League of Conservation Voters Education Fund. Before joining Maryland LCV in 2011, Karla directed the National Wildlife Federation’s Mississippi River Delta Restoration program. Karla has also worked as a Senior Attorney at the Environmental Integrity Project in Washington, D.C., Deputy Director at the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic in New Orleans, LA, and an Associate Attorney with the Seattle office of Earthjustice. Karla has an LL.M in environmental and natural resources law from Tulane University Law School, a J.D from Lewis and Clark Law School, and a B.A. from The Evergreen State College.
National Wildlife Federation: Jen Mihills, Associate Director & Regional Representative
Jen Mihills joined the National Wildlife Federation as the Regional Representative for the Chesapeake/Mid-Atlantic states in July 2010 where she focuses on building and maintaining strong relationships with grassroots affiliates and partners. Previously Jen served as the Associate Director for Natural Resources Conservation with the Delaware Nature Society, the National Wildlife Federation affiliate organization in the state. During her ten years with the Delaware Nature Society, she helped guide the organization’s legislative policy initiatives, facilitate land conservation projects, and oversee watershed stewardship programs. Prior to that, Jen worked with a consulting firm doing wetland restoration projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. She began her career with the Science Education Partnership while a biology student at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania. Jen grew up in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and spent many summers with her grandparents along the Susquehanna River. Those experiences instilled a deep appreciation of the outdoors and have helped guide her career.
Sierra Club: David Smedick, Campaign and Policy Representative
David Smedick is the Beyond Coal Campaign and Policy Representative at the Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club. The Beyond Coal campaign’s main objective is to replace dirty coal with clean energy by mobilizing grassroots activists in local communities to advocate for the retirement of old and outdated coal plants and to prevent new coal plants from being built. David serves as the staff lead for the organization’s priority energy campaigns, working with the Maryland Chapter’s 42,000 supporters and volunteer leadership. He is a LEED AP and previously worked on energy efficiency and green building implementation at Southface Energy Institute in Atlanta, Georgia. A native Marylander, David grew up in Carroll County, earned his Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from American University and his Masters of Environmental Management, concentrating in energy and sustainable systems analysis, from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.
Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland: W. Phillip Webster, Climate Change Task Force Chair
Phil Webster was formerly the Director for Climate and Weather Supercomputing at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. He received a BA in Political Science from UNC-Chapel Hill (1975), a BS and Masters in Mechanical Engineering from NC State University-Raleigh (1981 and 1982) and a PdD in Mechanical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University-University Park (1986). He active in the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia, Maryland, particularly in Social and Climate Justice issues as well as being a Past President of the Congregation.
350.org: Tamara Toles O’Loughlin, North America Director
Tamara Toles O’Loughlin is a native New Yorker and environmentalist focused on equity, access and community. She develops capacity building programs and creates multimedia campaigns to dismantle privilege and increase opportunities for vulnerable populations to access healthy air, clean energy, and a toxic free economy at the local, regional, and national level. Tamara recently joined 350.org as its North America Director where she will support and be accountable to organizers and campaigners on the United States and Canada teams. She will also drive critical work of building a multiracial, grassroots climate movement that can hold our leaders accountable to science and justice. Prior to joining 350.org, Tamara led the Maryland Environmental Health Network (MdEHN), based in Baltimore, Maryland, as its executive director, where she promoted the elimination of environmental threats to human health, and facilitated the development of coalitions led by impacted community members, and supported by health practitioners and environmental advocates.